Tweet of the Day: Rules vs. Guidelines in Fantasy
Some people should know better. And by some people I mean you, yes you, the guy eying the lady walking to her car in the far side of the lot. It’s not nice to steal from people, but you already know that and you don’t care. She looks like an easy mark, right? You shout at her to give you- ouch! oh! yikes! Damn! I didn’t know legs could bend that way. You just learn the hard way not to go around Mugging the Monster.
As you might have guessed, oh gentle reader, the poor bastard of a robber took on more than he could chew this evening and now he will be eating his meals through a straw for the next couple of months. As the original page points out, this is an excellent character establishing trope. It shows that the character, i.e. the Monster (for the trope does not go into whether the character is good/bad or somewhere in between) is not someone to be trifled with. It also establishes the setting. A place with real dangers for the unwary. Depending on the nature of the attacker as well as the response by would be victim, it can also set the tone. The Monster may merely disarm/humiliate the mugger or may paint the nearby walls with his lower intestines.
Author’s choice, of course.